BTS at the L’Oreal Academy

Behind the scenes from my latest job with L’Oreal.
It was a fun day as always, even though I was dead tired after a 14 hour workday.
A couple of times each year L’Oreal hosts a “training camp” for hair professionals who want to get certified within the L’Oreal color system. The week ends with a large shoot that puts the students and their newly¬†acquired knowledge to the test.

Final results in a later post with a tutorial on how the shoot was done ūüôā

W3A5755W3A5758W3A5759W3A5761W3A5762W3A5772 W3A5771W3A5777W3A5786W3A5806W3A5810W3A5814W3A5818 W3A5826W3A5833W3A5835W3A5856W3A5860W3A5882W3A5905W3A5918W3A5970W3A5996W3A6017W3A6044W3A6064W3A6071W3A6073W3A6106

 

-jr-

Advertisements

Looking for color control? (A simple introduction to monitor calibration)

Color management, easily explained, is control over RGB values in different environments.

Counter the common perception, an RGB value of R:210 G:0 B:0 as an example, is not a specific color, but an RGB percentage of the color space you’ve chosen to work in.Color management usually starts with a calibrated monitor, the irony of this is that by then, you are often halfway through the production process.Color management is more than just to control color, it is to exploit the potential of your equipment.

In order to certify up to the industry standard it is necessary to have a monitor calibrator, such as the X-Rite i1Publish Pro 2, i1Display Pro, ColorMunki Photo or the new ColorMunki Smile.

Ok, so what does it mean that any given RGB value isn’t a specific color?

Well, if you have a look at the below picture you see four red squares. Depending on your monitor you should be able to see that these red squares are of slightly different reds, but they all have the same RGB values, R:210 G:0 B:0. If you don’t see too much of a difference try looking at your monitor from different angles.

Screen Shot 2013 01 11 at 21 10 52

So, the colors you see on you monitor depends on to factors; the color space you’re editing your images in and the color space of your monitor.

The color space of which you edit you images in you get to set yourself, the color space of your monitor however, is fixed. Most monitors such as an iMac, Laptops and cheap monitors can only display the sRGB color space or slightly more, and this is exactly why it’s important to invest in a high quality monitor such as an Eizo CG series or a NEC Reference which can display almost the full Adobe RGB color space.

 

When calibrating your monitor, what are you actually doing?

Screen Shot 2013 01 11 at 22 53 06

Your monitor is not accurate. It receives RGB values from you computer and displays them. If you are sending an RGB value of, lets say R:210 G:0 B:0 you know its red but how red it is depends on the working color space and how accurate your monitor is. So, if your sending an¬†RGB value of R:210 G:0 B:0 but your monitor is showing this as R:200 G:0 B:0 you’re seeing your images with other colors than what actually exists.

When calibrating your monitor using a hardware calibrator such as the X-Rite ones mentioned in the into of this article, you’re actually measuring your monitors ability to display colors accurately, by displaying patches of colors that the calibrator records and then compares to the actual RGB values sent to the monitor. Based on this info the calibrators software creates an ICC profile which in the future will compensate for the monitors inability to show correct colors. Extremely easy explained, if your monitor shows the Red value of 210 as 200, then the ICC profile will “send” the red as 220, which then will equal to 210.

 

What are you calibrating for?

Before you start the calibration process ask yourself; Where do I want to display my images?? Depending on whether you want your images to shine on the web or on a printed media, there are guidelines to take into account. Before we go on, please let me say; there is no way you can make sure your images will look exactly the same on your own monitor and all monitors out there. To many factors plays a part, factors you can’t control. All you can do is make sure your monitors are accurate compared to the files your computer displays.

The settings Im about to give you, are noting more than a recommendation from where you can start from.

If you have a calibrated monitor, you should always take advantages of the dedicated software for that specific monitor. Ie. ColorNavigator for Eizo.

Luminance = 80 – 120 cd/m^2 (This setting defines the lightness of your monitor, and I would recommend you start with setting it to 120cd/m2)

Whitepoint = D65/6500 kelvin. (This is the color tint of white)

Gamma = 2.2 (This defines how dark grades over to light)

These settings will give you a good starting point for your first print. If your work is only displayed on the web then maybe you should consider upping your luminance to 140, or even 160cd/m2. Personally I keep it at 120.

Some calibrator softwares such as the i1Profiler from X-Rite gives you the ability to also specify the contrast ratio of your monitor. Even though most modern monitors can display a contrast ratio of as high as 800:1 and even higher, this is no good if your calibrating your  monitor for print work. A good printer such as the Canon Pixma Pro-1 or the Canon IPF8400 in combination with a high quality glossy paper can only produce a print with a contrast of as high as maybe 350:1. Based on this my recommendation is that you set your contrast to somewhere around 300:1 when calibrating for print work.

And by the way, if your looking for high-end print paper, take a look at my previous post here.

Even though you cant make sure all your prints look perfect in any given light source, or on all the millions of millions of monitors out there, you can make sure that what you see on your monitor is what actually exists in your computer file/image. If you do not already own a calibrator I would suggest you get one. Monitor calibration should be done at least every 200 hours of use/monitor up time. All X-Rite softwares will let you set a reminder for when its time for a recalibration.

Which calibrator is right for you??

If you don’t care about options and rules and technical stuff, then you should get the¬†ColorMunki Smile. This nice little unit will do it all for you, no questions asked.

If you want options, being able to control luminance, whitepoint and contrast then you should get the¬†i1Display Pro. This little piece of hardware is probably the best value for money available when it comes to monitor calibration. It also calibrates your projector if you own one and uses the i1Profiles, the same software as the¬†¬†i1Publish Pro 2;¬†the most advanced solution X-Rite offers. You should get this if in addition to calibrating your monitor you would also like to be able to create custom paper profiles for print. This badboy (it’s really nice actially) calibrates all there is to calibrate. A more advanced review on this hardware to come at a later time.

Enjoy your accurate colors and feel free to ask me questions if you should have any.

-jr-

Disclaimer: ISO 3664; Someone is bound to ask me why I do not recommend to calibrate to the iso 3664 standard. This is for printshops and advanced commercial printing. And does not fit that of the way any amateur and 99.9% of professional photographers display their images.

Profoto Softgrids…

Their called softgrids, but should really be called AWESOME LIGHT CONTROL UNITS…

A while back I lost my profoto softmasks for my 1×4 stips and haven’t really taken the time to buy new ones, until now. The last major beauty shoot I did for a large client, made me realize how much I missed and needed them. Whats cool is that not long ago Profoto announced their new RFi series of softboxes, and with that also reduced the MSRP(suggested retail price)– A LOT! ¬†Profoto also introduced a collection set of new softgrids, which is what this blogpost is all about.

For those of you who doesn’t know what a softgrid is, here’s a simple explanation; its a grid and its soft. Yeah yeah, there’s of course more to it. The softgris is mounted on your softboxes like this:

1×4 Softbox

IMG 1445 2

And since Profoto have been so kind to reduce their prices, I got myself a softgrid for my 5′ Octa as well:

IMG 1443 2

 So, why would you want a softgrid? Basically a softgrid does the same thing as a metal grid would for your reflector; it concenrates the light. In the case of these new Profoto softgrids, with 40 degrees. Concentrating the light translates into control.

If you never seen the effect of a softgrid here’s one mounted on a 5′ Octa:

Without softgrid, at f/16:

V2Q9490

And with a softgrid, same settings at on the image above:

V2Q9489

As you can see, with the softgrid the lights doesn’t spread and bounce around in the room. ¬†Its concentrated, BUT with the same nice and soft shadows you would expect from a 5′ octa.

Softgrids are a must have, don’t you think?

(sorry for not lighting a model or anything interesting, I was just too excited to not post this)

 

-jr-


 

Print, paper and shoot!

Two awesome days! These past two days have been really awesome. Yesterday, I was invited by Canon to check out the new flatbed printer, Arizona 480GT by Canon owned Océ.

The Arizona 480GT was first show in Las Vegas at the 2012 SGIA show, and belongs to the worlds most (by far) sold flatbed printer series. 

I can’t wait to have my next project printed on this bad boy:

Today started off in my studio with a visit from the Norwegian Canson representative. 

Canson is one of the most respected high-end paper manufacturers in the world and has made paper for over 450 years!

I’ve only tested their Baryta paper, and was really happy when Christian Moen brought me a “few” test rolls:

I’m¬†especially looking forward to test this one:

I ended the day with a beauty shoot for SO-B by BŇćre Olsen.

We did a few sets for an upcoming campaign and had a blast! (Yes I know, I’m smiling. Can you blame me??)

IMG 1366

Have a great weekend, and see you soon!

 

-jr-